Saudi Arabia Refuses To Cut Oil Output Even If Non-OPEC Members Do

Tyler Durden's picture

As even Reuters observes this morning when discussing the ongoing crude rout, "the market slide has triggered conspiracy theories, ranging from the Saudis seeking to curb the U.S. oil boom, to Riyadh looking to undermine Iran and Russia for their support of Syria." It appears said theories will continue raging for a long time, because as Saudi Arabia's oil minister who has been extensively in the news in the past couple (that means "two" as per Janet Yellen) of month explained, the biggest OPEC oil producer said on Sunday it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if non-OPEC nations did so, in one of the toughest signals yet that the world's top petroleum exporter plans to ride out the market's biggest slump in years, and that the price of crude is not going up any time soon.

Which goes back to what we said on Friday, namely that in a paradoxical response, with crude prices crashing, the US is set to produce even more oil, not less, and the output in 2015 will hit a 42-year (if not record) high as all the marginal producers scramble to outlive their closest competitors and obtain as much precious cash for their product as they possibly can.

And it's not just the US, but the entire oil-exporting world that will have no choice but to proceed with the only known strategy when the price equilibrium experiences a sudden and dramatic collapse, making a mockery of everyone's budget: dumping.

From Reuters:

Referring to countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters: "If they want to cut production they are welcome: We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut."


He added he was "100 percent not pleased" with prices but they would improve, although it was unclear when.


He blamed the fall in prices to half their levels of six months ago on speculators and what he called a lack of cooperation from non-OPEC producers.

It was unclear if here he is more focused on Russia, or the US shale industry.

His remarks at a conference in Abu Dhabi marked the second time in three days that the kingdom has signaled that it would not alter output levels, preferring to allow the market to stabilize on its own.


The determined tone of his comments was echoed by some other Arab oil ministers at the conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital. UAE Oil Minister Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui urged all of the world's producers not to raise their oil output next year, saying this would quickly steady prices. He did not elaborate.

Meanwhile as crude supply is not only set to rise, global demand continues to tumble, not only because of China slowing down and Japan and Europe in a recession, but because suddenly the deflationary mindset has spread like wildfire among the end-customers, who are happy to wait and buy on Thursday that oil barrell they would otherwise buy today... if it means getting it for10% cheaper.

The world is forecast to need less OPEC oil in 2015 because of a rising supply of U.S. shale oil and other competing sources, with no significant increase in world demand growth. Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair said OPEC did not need to cut production and would not hold an emergency meeting ahead of its next scheduled talks in June.


"I don't think we need to cut. We gave a chance to others (and) they were not willing to do so," he said, referring to contacts with non-OPEC producers before OPEC's meeting in November in Vienna.

And as a reminder, it was Naimi himself who several days ago blamed the collapse not on supply issues but pure and simple demand, or lack thereof:

There has been much debate whether the crude price implosion has been
due to excess supply or not enough demand. Here, courtesy of the oil
minister at the world's largest crude supplier, is the answer:


Which, of course, to anyone with even the most rudiemntary logic and charting skills, should not come as any surprise.



What happens next? Well, we have a waiting game on our hands: when "asked about possible cooperation between members of OPEC, which include the world's lowest-cost producers, and non-member countries, Naimi replied: "The best thing for everybody is to let the most efficient producers produce".

Which translated means Saudi Arabia will patiently wait for those marginal producers who are currently losing cash to turn the lights out. It also means that until we find just who the first sovereign (or shale) casualty will be, crude prices are only going to go lower as the dumping strategy finally begins to bear results.

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Latina Lover's picture

Saudi Arabia is listening to  their masters voice, CIA and USSA state department.  Drop the oil price, so we can hurt Russia, Iran Venezuela, and our  insiders can buy US oil and gas assets on the cheap, and we will keep your corrupt royal family in power. Then when we have hurt our enemies, and screwed our friends, we will raise the price.

Oracle 911's picture

I doubt they Master is USSA or CIA, because even the US deep state is not THAT stupid.

Latina Lover's picture

Really? Do you think that the deep state would not terrorize their own citizens or wouldn't turn on their supposed friends?  The state department, for example, is literally destroying the Ukrainian Economy to hurt Russia. The drop in oil is also devastating oil producers in  Britain, Norway, Canada, etc.

Look at how much economic damage has been caused to the EU economies because the USSA forced them to impose sanctions on Russia. Do you think Merkel has politically benefited from driving down trade with Russia?


Why did Saudi Arabia NOW decide to flood the world with oil when they have hundreds of billions of cash in reserves, and their grip on power is still very strong?  And more importantly, who benefits from the sudden drop in oil?

Soul Glow's picture

Everyone's cutting off their noses to spite their faces.  Rather comical, really.

Latina Lover's picture

Or just plain stupid.

"...I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth."

Jonathan Swift, Gullivers Travels.

strannick's picture

Why are these ridiculous  despots permitted to live? 

In the financial realm that is. I guess because of the 5th Fleet, so it's doubtful the Saudis are keeping the valves open to screw Shale.

It's to screw the Shiite pipeline culminating in Syria, along with Langleys ISIS bugaboo. It's either Qatari/Saudi hydro carbons or Iranian that get exported from Syria,and so you get America supporting a Muslim dictatorship as it kills Christian minorities.

This war against Russia's subversion if the Petrodollar has precedents in Iraq, Iran and Libya. The Petodollar is of supreme importance and collateral damage in Shale and High Yield will be endured and managed.


Soul Glow's picture

Shale is a piece of shit source of energy.

On the other subjects, well, Syria, Shites, and CIA boogeymen, everyone are grasping at straws and riding a dying camel.

DutchR's picture

Am I bad that i upvoted myself?

Hey it;s Bon Jovi

Max Steel's picture

The fact is that the Russian economy is diversified. The error in thinking that it is not is caused by not understanding that it is diversified as any normal country (or more), but on top of that diversification there is a huge oil and gas wealth. (Name, 10 more diversified economies). Now, people confuse these things. What they are actually saying is that because Russia is number one with oil & gas wealth it has failed cause it is not also number one industrial nation in the world. From Soviet bankruptcy and 1990s anarchy, Putin should have been able to make Russia number one industrial nation in 10 years (which will happen in an additional 10 years). - That's the logic of those people. - But zim zala bim, now in 6 month Russia has become diversified, 50% of value of oil wealth is gone, so it makes anymore 8% of the GDP. Great diversification! Everybody should be happy with the results now. - Oil disappeared, but everybody kept their jobs. Sounds like diversified economy to me.

noben's picture
noben (not verified) Soul Glow Dec 21, 2014 1:55 PM

What's laughable is your argument or your IQ:

If the Saudis are supposedly adapting to changing/lower Demand, they'd lower Production. Heck, they even blamed it on "aging Boomers" a couple of weeks ago. What a farce and red herring that is: What, out of the blue, hundreds of millions of Boomers just suddenly died -- to cause such a sudden and dramatic change? LMFAO.

Their behavior is consistent with two and ONLY TWO scenarios (one, the other or both):
1. Regain Dominant Market Share ("Money & Power)
2. Hurt Russia and their allies Iran and Venezuela ("US-driven Geopolitics").

It's not even "anti-BRIICS", since India and South Africa benefit. As does Turkey. Perhaps Brazil does or does not, but that's not central to the issue.

sun tzu's picture

This is economic warfare. They picked the right time to strike. 

Monty Burns's picture

I'd  love to know how the USSA is pressurizing the European countries.

The Chief's picture

The usual ways. Sabotage and extortion. I'm sure that little gift to the German steel industry yesterday was a contractor supporting that mission.

Jack Burton's picture

Latina Lover. I agree, there can be no doubt that the USA and Saudi made a concious decission to let some of their close friends burn, in order to wage a war on Russia. Norway has a 20% share of oil as their economy. America has 8% share of oil as our economy, not sure of Canada but it is major. All these friends of Washington are burning! Even Texas is going to burn. All this to try and take Russia down.

I suggest it is time the number one home to terrorsim on earth, Saudi Arabia start to take it's own medicine. That means arming, funding and training any Saudi opposition that exists, and we KNOW there is an opposition. We could have a Saudi "MAIDAN".

Anyways, these fat fucks in Saudi need to feel the pain. The Saudi fucks are evil. I once knew an nurse in London, who worked at a major hospital, she told me that an entire wing was devoted to Saudi princes, it was the place they went to be treated for sexually transmitted diseases. Saudi money flowed to the hospital, and this bought them a wing of the hospital, and all the best the English medicine could provide.

Eyeroller's picture

And I'm sure that Obozo is not worried about low oil prices adversely affecting a red state like Texas.

The environmentalists should also be happy about US frackers facing bankruptcy.

So Putin's nose gets tweaked and the base is happy.  That's all that matters to him.

Latina Lover's picture

Jack Burton,  one of my friends worked for Aramco in the 1990's.  In Riyahd, he  foolishly left his hotel and inadvertently ended up in chop chop square, where severed hands and heads were on display. He was so sickened by what he saw that he faked an illness to leave SA as quickly as possible.

America chastened Putin for supposedly being anti gay, yet in Russia homosexuality between consenting adults (16) is legal.  In Saudi Arabia, the penalty for homosexuality is death by stoning.  America claims to support democratic rights yet SA is one of the viciously oppressive regimes globally, with tens of thousands of political dissents in jail or disappeared.

It is this american hypocrisy, cloaked in a self righteous morality, that so disgusts the rest of the world.

ebear's picture

"Why did Saudi Arabia NOW decide to flood the world with oil..."

Nothing I've read suggests that they've increased production, which would be synonymous with "flood the world."

Here's a thought:

What if they cut production and nothing happened, or the price kept moving lower?   Kind of puts the lie to "swing producer" and exposes the truth, which they seem to be telling anyway, i.e. that demand has fallen due to global recession.

My guess would be they can't cut production without a serious impact to their budget.  SA spends a lot of money on social programs and payola to keep hostile elements at bay.   A case of being overextended in their obligations due to a belief that prices would remain high?

Saudi production and reserve numbers are suspect at best.  It could well be that they can't cut production without risking stranding assets.  This article suggests something along those lines.

It may be de rigueur around here to see everything as a conspiracy, but correlation is not causation.  In the bigger picture, we've had years of low interest rates that have prompted overinvestment in all sorts of areas, including energy financing (reaching for yield).   At the same time, unemployment has increased and savings have been destroyed worldwide.

Taken together - overproduction and underemployment - you have a formula for major deflation, which thus far has been masked by the inflation of financial assets.  That period may be coming to an end, and this oil glut may be the first indication of a turn.   

Arius's picture

This is Madness. Naimi is out of control.  He is willinging to bring down Texas so to get even in Syria?  Kerry i am afraid is not up to the job.  He is not Kissinger.  we need someone of Kissingers' caliber to straighten Naimi out ... common...

Soul Glow's picture

What you need is Henry Kissenger's Nazi ass?  Why don't you blow him a kiss..

Payne's picture

Saudi's found out that all there Gold is gone and they need new cash to replace, their need for cash replaces the need to support prices.

Luckhasit's picture

LatinoLover is one of the few that see the political moves as it applies to the great game. 

He/She offers some good insight.

DaveyJones's picture

 and remember the evidence of 911

U4 eee aaa's picture

It's debatable who is the master in that relationship

saints51's picture

The conspiracy theories are 100% correct and the squid propaganda machine is at 100% cover up.

JustObserving's picture

Everyone knows that cheap oil is a campaign to undermine Russia.  $10 oil engineered by Saudi Arabia in 1986 caused the collapse of the Soviet Union.  So it is hoped that history will repeat:

According to Rashid Abanmy, President of the Riyadh-based Saudi Arabia Oil Policies and Strategic Expectations Center, the dramatic price collapse is being deliberately caused by the Saudis, OPEC’s largest producer. The public reason claimed is to gain new markets in a global market of weakening oil demand. The real reason, according to Abanmy, is to put pressure on Iran on her nuclear program, and on Russia to end her support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria….More than 50% of Russian state revenue comes from its export sales of oil and gas. The US-Saudi oil price manipulation is aimed at destabilizing several strong opponents of US globalist policies. Targets include Iran and Syria, both allies of Russia in opposing a US sole Superpower. The principal target, however, is Putin’s Russia, the single greatest threat today to that Superpower hegemony.

The US must achieve its objectives in Central Asia or forfeit its top-spot as the world’s only superpower. This is why US policymakers have embarked on such a risky venture. There’s simply no other way to sustain the status quo which allows the US to impose its own coercive dollar system on the world, a system in which the US exchanges paper currency produced-at-will by the Central Bank for valuable raw materials, manufactured products and hard labor. Washington is prepared to defend this extortionist petrodollar recycling system to the end, even if it means nuclear war.

kaiserhoff's picture

Gas at $2.09 this morning.

Roll, Cimarron, roll.

saints51's picture

1.75 at costco in my neck of the woods.

JustObserving's picture

Cheap oil is being purchased at the cost of playing Russian Roulette for Trillions:

Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives

The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act last weekend.

Among the banks’ most important commodities bets are oil derivatives. An oil derivative typically involves an oil producer who wants to lock in the price at a future date, and a counterparty – typically a bank – willing to pay that price in exchange for the opportunity to earn additional profits if the price goes above the contract rate. The downside is that the bank has to make up the loss if the price drops.

 As Snyder observes, the recent drop in the price of oil by over $50 a barrel – a drop of nearly 50% since June – was completely unanticipated and outside the predictions covered by the banks’ computer models. The drop could cost the big banks trillions of dollars in losses. And with the repeal of the Lincoln Amendment, taxpayers could be picking up the bill.

Latina Lover's picture

Exactly.  Meanwhile we have morons on ZH who think that suddenly dropping the price of oil by $50 dollars is good because it means cheaper gas and punishing Russia, LOL.  Just wait till the banksters come for your savings account after trillions in derivatives blow up. Or your 401K declines because it held oil and gas stocks, and foreign bonds in safe countries like Canada, England, Norway etc.

holdbuysell's picture

Yup, and Jim Rickards is saying the same thing.

DaveyJones's picture

...or (because the Saudi Oil reserves are NOT what they were in the last Saudi / Russia oil game) peak (easy) oil is rapidly accellerated with the US even more ill prepared, and the Soviets toughing it out.    

Counterpunch's picture
Counterpunch (not verified) JustObserving Dec 21, 2014 1:26 PM

a very important point, and precisely why that absurd piece of legislation was inserted.  The American Deep State could care less about stealing more from productive labor to keep the Global Banking Empire going.

Megalomania is a helluva drug.

emersonreturn's picture

please, JO, or some other, explain to me how the banks failed to see this 'sudden' drop, if bankers and the obamanation essentially put this in motion?  is it that GS & JPM knew but failed to tell others?  surely "the big banks" weren't factoring in trillions of dollars in losses?  TY.

Monty Burns's picture

"Everyone knows that cheap oil is a campaign to undermine Russia. "

Of course this is the reason. But note there's more than the Saudis want to his Russia.

noben's picture

Meanwhile, on a parallel track... If we look at the global Nat Gas production, we see that to date, Russia and USA are the leading producers*

With US shale winding down, this leaves Russia standing with 15.4% of world production. Compared to the 3.1% from Qatar and 2.4% from KSA.

So... Nat Gas is NOT a decider/driver in the Saudi move to cut the oil price but pump at max. Oil is.

* '

Jack Burton's picture

" There’s simply no other way to sustain the status quo which allows the US to impose its own coercive dollar system on the world, a system in which the US exchanges paper currency produced-at-will by the Central Bank for valuable raw materials, manufactured products and hard labor. Washington is prepared to defend this extortionist petrodollar recycling system to the end, even if it means nuclear war."

OF COURSE! This is just what it is all about. +100

DaveyJones's picture

globalresearch does good work

ebear's picture

"$10 oil engineered by Saudi Arabia in 1986 caused the collapse of the Soviet Union."

So, nothing to do with Cantarell, North Sea and Prudhoe Bay coming online in response to the Arab Oil Embargo?

The story I heard was the USSR collapsed due to disproportionate spending on the military (arms race) and a catastrophic failure of their agricutural sector.  I recall the USA actually lent money to the USSR so they could buy US wheat.  I'm sure oil had something to do with their problems, but there's a lot more to it than that, and I don't see SA as having played a major role.

Amerikan Patriot's picture
CHAOS IN RUSSIA: People Are Panic-Buying Furniture And Cars After Ruble Crashes

AP Photo/Pavel GolovkinA woman waits in a line to pay for her purchases at the IKEA store on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.

The collapse of the ruble has forced companies operating in Russia to undertake extreme measures in an effort to remain profitable as the cost of imports skyrockets. And Russians have responded by panic-buying.

Fear over price hikes has sent demand for foreign goods surging as customers try to buy goods before the stores have a chance to raise the cost further. This has led to scenes not seen in the country since the late 1990s as people queued for hours just to get into some shops.

Even large multinational companies have had to take drastic action. Well-known brands such as Apple and IKEA have had to suspend sales and increased prices over recent weeks as they struggle to keep up with the falling value of the currency, while car companies including General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Audi have all suspended shipments to the country.

Russian shoppers trying to get onto the homepage of the Apple Store over recent days have been met with a "currently unavailable" sign:

The suspension came after the company raised the price of an iPhone 6 by around 25% to 39,990 rubles in an effort to offset the currency falls.

Meanwhile, those looking to do some Christmas shopping at IKEA this week were also disappointed. An attempt to increase prices forced sales of kitchen furniture and appliances on the Swedish retailer's website to be suspended until Dec. 20 "due to a large number of customers orders".

Shoppers posted pictures of panic-buying by consumers in Moscow on social media as IKEA was forced to close a number of physical stores.

Across the country consumer prices having risen around 25% in 2014, due to a combination of the ruble crash and sanctions placed by the Russian government on imports from the European Union. Staples such as pork and sugar have risen by 25%, and the price of fish and seafood has also leapt up by more than 15%.

The pace of the increases has caused a stampede of nervous shoppers trying to buy up as much as they can before retailers hike up prices even further. Russia's 24-hour news channel RBC TV has been showing the scale of the queues:

Having touched record-highs of 80 rubles to the dollar and 100 rubles to the euro on Wednesday, the currency has strengthened significantly as the government and central bank appear to finally be coordinating their actions. It remains to be seen whether it will be enough to regain people's confidence in the stability of the currency and reverse the panic of the past few weeks.

Latina Lover's picture

Hmmm, wasn't Business Insider and SocGen claiming that Russia was selling gold, and then we find out that in Nov. the Russian Central bank purchased MORE gold?   BI is hardly a trustworthy source, run by a convicted wall street criminal.

But be careful what you ask for.  If I were a Russian Businessman, and my loan cost doubled due to hostile  financial speculation against the ruble,  I just might default and tell the western banksters to go fuck themselves.  Then it could be YOUR bank account that gets bailed in to save your friendly bankster.

DutchR's picture

AP   Member for18 weeks 6 days   and all russian commends go figure

GoldSilverBitcoinBug's picture

He is trolling on RT channel on youtube with the same pseudonym...

Jack Burton's picture

" BI is hardly a trustworthy source"

Indeed! I stopped reading them 2 years ago. I posted in their comments section, and they clearly did not like me! Even deleted a number of posts which exposed the crimes the US is carrying out. I got the impression that as each month went by BI was being more and more captured by State Department and Corporate powers. Now I am sure if it! They are total propaganda, and open liars.

will ling's picture
will ling (not verified) Jack Burton Dec 21, 2014 3:18 PM


DaveyJones's picture

so they really are an insider

Max Steel's picture

sorry bob but your propaganda is old now . It's much fine at 58/$ now